Sports

What should be the Hurricanes’ new goal song? Our experts weigh in on the choices.

The Canes’ Sebastian Aho (20) celebrates his goal during the third period against the Ottawa Senators at PNC Arena on Jan. 30, 2018. It was his first game since he was injured several weeks ago. The Canes beat the Sens 2-1.
The Canes’ Sebastian Aho (20) celebrates his goal during the third period against the Ottawa Senators at PNC Arena on Jan. 30, 2018. It was his first game since he was injured several weeks ago. The Canes beat the Sens 2-1. cseward@newsobserver.com

Something has to come after the Woo. The Carolina Hurricanes are letting fans vote on their new goal song, which presumably will be played more often than the 108 times it was heard at PNC Arena a year ago. Avicii’s “The Nights,” the incumbent, is one of eight contenders that includes a techno mix of an old, old favorite and one song with local roots that already appears to have emerged as a consensus choice: Petey Pablo’s “Raise Up.”

But in the interest of a robust and productive debate, it seemed like a good idea to check with the experts, two local rockers whose hockey and Hurricanes fandom runs deep: Superchunk frontman and Merge Records president Mac McCaughan and Corrosion of Conformity bassist/vocalist Mike Dean.

“All of these choices are old songs but I guess that’s the nature of sports music,” McCaughan said. “People want something familiar. There is really only one choice from this list and it’s Petey Pablo’s iconic N.C. anthem ‘Raise Up.’ ”

Dean, who worked a PNC Arena spotlight during the 2006 playoffs, leaned away from “Raise Up” and toward a few other choices, but acknowledged the team’s musical dilemma.

“Fans of the game of hockey, fanatical or casual, come from all generations and all areas of the cultural spectrum, so whatever you choose, someone is going to be underwhelmed or even alienated by whichever song is selected,” Dean said. “The more you try to be current, the sooner your choice becomes obsolete.”

This is an old story: 25 years ago, N&O music critic David Menconi suggested 80 different songs for general use by the old Raleigh IceCaps, frustrated with the middle-of-the-road selections at Dorton Arena. Some of his suggestions – “Blitzkrieg Bop,” “Been Caught Stealing” – are now arena-rock staples.

It also seemed important to sample the opinions of more than merely musicians, so we presented the eight candidates to an expert panel consisting not only our esteemed musicians but media personalities, an ex-player and fans for their consideration.

The songs are presented in the order they were listed for voting on the Hurricanes’ website.

One suggestion that recurred throughout this process: Instead of settling on one clip, maybe pick a few and rotate through them. Dean, for what it’s worth, preferred Led Zeppelin’s “Rock and Roll,” “Party Up” by DMX and “Lithium” by Nirvana.

“If the Canes go on a goal-scoring tear, hearing one track over and over would be pretty brutal, so I suggest they have three tracks,” Dean said. “Lately, we can only dream of having such problems.”

Brass Bonanza (techno remix)

Mike Dean, Corrosion of Conformity: Unlikely to resonate with anyone. And it’s pretty forgettable.

Mac McCaughan, Superchunk/Merge Records: I understand the appeal of Whalers throwback jerseys -- the Hartford logo is outstanding -- but a techno remix of “Brass Bonanza” can be thrown in any time during the game, it doesn’t need to be the goal song.

Luke DeCock, N&O sports columnist: Despite the current retro craze for the Hartford Whalers – borrowed nostalgia for the unremembered ‘80s, to quote a different song – the Hurricanes have their own history and own tradition here and shouldn’t be borrowing from what they left behind.

Joe Ovies, WCMC-99.9 afternoon host: The classic Whalers song is fine to play once a game as a nod/wink to the past, but making it the goal song would be the equivalent of overdoing it at the NC State Fair and acting surprised you feel sick. Adding the techno remix to it is no different than deep frying a peanut butter stuff pickle.

David Menconi, N&O music critic: Herb Alpert & the Tijuana Brass unavailable?

Bates Battaglia, former Hurricanes forward, current owner of Lucky B’s: I like the nostalgia of the Bonanza but a little old school. Time for a change.

Adam Moore, 26, Raleigh, @Moore_of_Adam: I don’t like it but don’t hate it. Straw poll with some friends my age say this is up there. Weird but good.

Patty Jasper, “Gen X,” Apex, @lgc_com: There’s a techno mix? Anyway, just say hell no. I have zero nostalgia for the Whalers, and honestly I just don’t see why we’re going there. ... Oh yeah, the owner.

Mike Jaquish, “gray hair,” Cary, @MikeJaquish: To reminisce about all the Stanley Cups won in Hartford? Na-a-a-ah. Hartford is museum stuff, not the future. I sat on the plane a couple of weeks ago next to a former Whalers fan from Hartford, and mentioned this and he agreed with me. In the museum. In the past. Bury it. We sell season tix in Raleigh, not Hartford.

Jump Around, House of Pain

DeCock: What is this, drunken sunset karaoke in Cabo san Lucas?

Ovies: Oh, I’m sorry, I thought I was a hockey game and not a North Carolina Tar Heels sporting event? And you want to make the song associated with Roy Williams blasting in a building you share with N.C. State? Sure!

Menconi: Super fresh. In 1992.

Battaglia: Kind of dig the House of Pain but I could see people wanting to dig their hair out after a while, especially if we score some goals this year.

Moore: Eh. Just doesn’t do it for me.

Jasper: So this song is played regularly at Charlotte Checkers games, with the PA guy saying “Come on rock ‘n’ rollers, jump around!” No -- on the basis of this reminds me of AHL hockey.

Jaquish: 150 times for the STMs? Na-a-a-a-h.

Lithium, Nirvana

McCaughan: Nirvana was a great band, but do you want an anthem about manic depression playing after each goal? (OK, I see the parallels with being a Hurricanes fan for the last 20 years.)

DeCock: Perfect for the expansion Seattle Flannels, but pretty dated for these purposes.

Ovies: A song about a drug used to help bipolar disorders is way too meta for a fanbase that both loves and hates the team.

Menconi: Nothing says hockey-goal jubilation like psychotropic drugs.

Battaglia: Grunge is done.

Moore: Too much “yeah.”

Jasper: Why? Grunge is over. This list and this song particularly, sends me into fits. We’re flashing back.

Jaquish: Whining after a goal? That’s what it sounds like.

Party Up, DMX

DeCock: Yes, if we’re picking a walk-up song for a minor-league cleanup hitter in 1999.

Ovies: Y’all gonna make me lose my mind, up in here up in here, given all the clean edits you’d have to make in order to play this song after goals.

Menconi: Really needs to be more energetic, uptempo than this.

Battaglia: I hear this enough at Lucky B’s.

Moore: This one isn’t cut very well; not bad. I could do it.

Jasper: More nostalgia -- and the Canes created their own self-ruin with this song, played at every game for maybe the last 3 seasons. Making it a goal song? My lord.

Jaquish: Fun. Worn out.

Raise Up, Petey Pablo

Dean: Using this forgettable track just because it has explicit localism in the lyric would be an especially unfortunate choice.

McCaughan: There is really only one choice from this list. If the Canes wanted to update they could switch it out for G Yamazawa’s “North Cack” which is great.

DeCock: The best of the bunch, locally grown and not something you’re going to hear in any other NHL arena.

Ovies: The one and only choice.

Menconi: Probably the best choice, actually. Should be accompanied by Petey’s Pale Ale.

Battaglia: No idea, never heard of it, and of course I’m on fleek, I would know.

Moore: This is my choice; Straw poll with friends confirms polls well; Would be interested to see how it sounds in game setting. Still my No. 1.

Jasper: The Caniac consensus is that we ‘must’ use this song -- out of some mad props to Petey Pablo. I could maybe go with that.

Jaquish: Meh. OK. Look at the age of season-ticket holders. We’re too old for that crap.

Rock and Roll, Led Zeppelin

DeCock: It’s been a *really* long time since this song rock and rolled.

Ovies: What is this, a Cadillac commercial?

Menconi: Already heard too much of this on classic-rock radio.

Battaglia: That’s even older than Roddy (Brind’Amour). No go.

Moore: This isn’t bad. Probably the choice from my dad (though I love me some Zeppelin). Doesn’t do it for me.

Jasper: The issue here is this is an overplayed song. You hear it too much. See “Party Up” -- not that the Canes played this into the ground, it’s just one of those songs you hear at hockey games a lot. I’m telling on myself and my frequent travel to other NHL arenas.

Jaqiush: Love it. Not 150 times.

The Nights, Avicii

McCaughan: Avicii is just boring.

DeCock: Surely they could have done better than offering to settle for this again. Feels too connected to the Skrillex-dubstep-overload era of ear-bloodying PNC music.

Ovies: A generic EDM track might be a little too on the nose for the generic product on the ice.

Menconi: Not frantic enough.

Battaglia: I can get into this, grab my glow sticks, start the rave.

Moore: I never hated this. Upbeat tune, easy to clap with. The repetitive “Hey Hey!” never caught on, shame.

Jasper: Another tune that the Canes ran into the ground. They were already playing this when a goal was scored. They also played Avicii during warm ups. No more.

Jaquish: Party music across age groups and we can wail to it in unison. Do it. Got my vote.

Uprising, Muse

Dean: It’s a creepy reworking of the creepy Gary Glitter song “Rock and Roll.” If they had to go that way, I’d suggest “Do It Again” by Queens of the Stone Age.

McCaughan: The Muse song must have been chosen because you can’t use Gary Glitter anymore as he’s in jail for sex crimes but you want his drum beat.

DeCock: For these purposes, and the portion they picked, it sounds like something you’d play after the *other* team scores.

Ovies: The last time Muse was a thing the Carolina Hurricanes made the playoffs. That was nearly a decade ago.

Menconi: Too easygoing. You want energy for this.

Battaglia: No way Stormy can dance to that. I’ve seen his moves. I don’t think he’d be happy.

Moore: Nah.

Jasper: This would rival Petey Pablo, but then I listened to the clip that they Canes have for the contest. It’s all music, I saw Muse open for U2 at Carter Finley in 2009 -- this song got people all crazy in the crowd, and they were the opening act and it was during this part of the chorus: “They will not control us/We will be victorious.” It’s one of their best songs. I’m not sure it’s truly a goal song.

Jaquish: We could do worse.

Sports columnist Luke DeCock: 919-829-8947, ldecock@newsobserver.com, @LukeDeCock
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